Disaster recovery planning of IT systems is very important, as loosing business information can mean reworking on tasks or have productivity loss due not planned backup systems.
Anything we save on our computer is information such as files for reports, emails, pdf’s, drawings, as the business becomes bigger this need is going to increase as multiple people will generate more information. Secondly if you are running your own servers for applications, team management, device control or other functions. Business systems are more critical as your complete team depends on it, while loosing a file only one person does and files are easy to recover.
IT failures not only prevents you from working, but it can also mean re-working on information you had saved. Back up of information and systems is very critical.
Two things to review when you do disaster recovery planning
- Recovery time
- Retention of Information
Based on above two answers you can choose your systems for disaster recovery in case something got mistakenly deleted, corrupted or system stops to work. Their are multiple options to choose from, however you need to consider both file systems separately than server systems.
File Share Backups
There are few ways we have found businesses to save their files and share it with each other. It can be a server or another computer, drive, or now even with simple cloud applications. While any information which is saved on local systems you need to back it. The first thing to do is enable VSS on your computer (if running Windows operating system), this feature of windows creates a backup of files with changes up to the space you allocate. This option is not reliable so we recommend to have a cloud automated backup or use a system backup locally. With applications in cloud like ShareSync, One Drive, or others you can save the files and share easily with team always being backed up accessible from a web browser.
Which ever file backup you choose the recovery time is very less, so you mostly will not need to consider it. Using a server systems is a little different and needs to be checked for recovery times.
Server System Backups
When you buy a server you should chose hardware which provides basic backup to make sure the server continues to function even in case a hard drive fails, fan or power supply goes bad. You can configure these systems as per your choice reviewing benefits and costs.
Lets consider your server system fails tomorrow, what impact will it have if it is offline for one hour, four hours or a day?
If you can not have your servers being down even for a minute you need to consider some basic factors. The first thought would be to choose between having server systems hosted in cloud with complete backup and multiple location back up systems with compliance security which saves you even from natural disasters. If you want a system in-house choice of hardware will depend on if you want to have virtualization, if you have more than one server or might think will need the second server use virtualization system. Always buy one to grow +1 so if some system fails you can recover from your local backup or might just need one for testing some times.
Now once you have your basic server ready you will need two types of recovery methods we recommend. One being a local backup and system where you can quickly recover from any issues, second is on cloud. Cloud backup is optional, however if you want to be compliant or need cover for natural disaster it is a must. There are backups available which cost a dollar day and can help achieve such system.
Depending on recovery time you decide, you can opt for recovery within 5 minutes. In case it fails middle of the day or time frame you feel your business would not get affected much and is manageable. On what you have a documented plan of action to recover which you can test every six months and if it does not work find better backup or upgrade system.
Once you have your backup monitor it for failures. If you don’t, check at least once a week or else you are at risk. Putting all the effort of getting a backup for your systems as may stop working in a month or 2 due to disk space, service failure or anything else and you don’t want to find out when you need it.
We will discuss more on systems you can implement for disaster recovery which don’t cost much and keep you running. Today there automated options.
recap, disaster recovery planning based on asking two questions your self. If you loose any information how quick would you want it recovered, and from how back would you want it. Answering this you can customize your backup as per your needs.
It becomes mandatory with compliance for healthcare and financial institutes to always have good retention of information for longer time frame including communication.
For keeping your business productive, secure and well managed consider some IT Essentials.
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